You’ve only been dating for a few days, weeks, or months (insert time-frame) but everything seems to be clicking. You don’t want to jump the gun, but you’re beginning to think this person is THE ONE. And so you’ve decided that it’s time to take it to the next level and organize a special treat for the two of you, something intimate, relaxing, romantic, and off the beaten path: a couples massage. You love a good massage and you know they will, too. So why not do it together? It sounds like a good idea, but you’ve begun to second-guess yourself. What if your partner thinks you’re moving too fast or that you’re some kind of creepy weirdo? How can you tell if it’s too soon to do couples massage?
For starters, do you classify yourselves as a couple? If not, it may be too soon. If you’re not exclusively dating someone, if it’s just “casual”, or if you don’t even know their last name, chances are a couples massage is a bit of a stretch (as is the term “couple”). You may want to hold off for a bit if you don’t want to get slapped with a restraining order for stalking. If, however, your relationship has moved to next level (you’ve become intimate, met each other’s parents, keep toothbrushes at each other’s apartments, and have commenced to ignore/blow off your friends), you can probably assume that it’s safe to surprise your significant other with an afternoon of spoiling for two.
But if you’re still not sure, maybe you should ruminate on what, exactly, a couples massage entails. In case you didn’t know, you’ll pretty much be naked (albeit under a sheet or towel). You will also be on tables right next to each other, close enough to hold hands or gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes…as you are touched by two total strangers. Uh-huh. If the vibe sounds a little creepy, chances are it is. It’s hard enough playing the get-to-know-you game without watching some Fabio wannabe touch your lady, or wondering what that cute little Asian girl with hands of steel is doing to your boyfriend while you’re face-down on the mat. If you’re not quite comfortable watching your partner interact intimately with another person, you might want to plan something a bit more private, like the two of you massaging each other (it might be more fun to get a manual and do a little pillow-time at home anyway).
The truth is, even people who have been together for years may find couples massage a little awkward. After all, the idea is to relax and that may not be possible with another person in the room. On the other hand, some people are totally cool with letting it all hang out, even if they just met you at a Poison concert the previous night. So before you plan a couples massage, you should have a good idea of how your partner feels about it, whether you come right out and ask, or gauge their interest in another way. After all, you don’t want to arrive at the massage parlor only to find that you’ll be alone in a room with two tables and masseurs while your partner reads a magazine in the lobby for an hour.
Dana Rivas enjoys writing about the benefits of massage for her website Portable Massage Tables.